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Potence and Thrown weapons (V20)

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  • Potence and Thrown weapons (V20)

    Does potence apply to thrown weapon damage? This wasn't clarified so help is appreciated. Thanks!

  • #2
    The strict reading of the book would say no, as it specifies that in combat, Potence applies to Melee and Brawl, not ranged attacks that still use Strength. Though you should be getting some big damage numbers from throwing car engines at people.

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    • #3
      I don't see why not, there are ranged attack potence cards in eternal struggle.


      You've been playing around the magic that is black
      But all the powerful magical mysteries never gave a single thing back

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      • #4
        On reading this section again, it seems potence does not provide throwing damage. I'd imagine potence could be visualized like an energy field attached to the vampire and things he's in contact with, and once you've thrown the object you've severed the connection. Potence to me is less -strength according to physics- and more -action movie strength-. Force equals Mass times acceleration plus Potence and minus Fortitude.

        There is room to interpret that Potence still effects the range. that an object can be thrown.


        Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

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        • #5
          Officially no, Potence has no effect on thrown damage beyond being able to lift and throw bigger things and throw those (a refrigerator or a car would do more damage than a rock). So if you picked up a car and smacked someone with it you'd do your strength + the car damage and add your Potence bonus, but if you picked up a car and tossed it at someone as hard as you could, you'd only do strength + the car damage.

          I think that was still largely the case in older editions too because I remember seeing this pop up on the old forums, and I remember houseruling things to allow Potence to be added to thrown objects and it never broke anything that I've noticed.

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          • #6
            If a group is cool with house-ruling it, it really doesn't hurt anything. I could come up with some physics issues that are well below the granularity of the systems and also Potence is magic.

            If a group doesn't want to house-rule, but is OK with home-brew, just make it a Celerity 1/Potence 1 Combo Discipline.

            Baring that... well... eh that's the rules the game doesn't fall apart because vampires can't throw knives through plate steel armor.

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            • #7
              If you could add your potence to thrown weapons I'd imagine vampires would not only destroy humans with tennis balls but also they'd spit with the force of a fireman's hose and shout with the force to maim people. Imagine adding 5 potence dice to anything you can throw.

              ...it's funny this should come up because this might be a thing I was gonna put on ST's vault.


              Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

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              • #8
                It's a bit like Celerity in which the enhancements are entirely situational. Like for most usual applications Celerity really isn't altering velocity enough that your multiple attacks also deal more damage (increased velocity means more KE, force and momentum to the impact) unless you use a high level application of it (there are some Elder 'alternate' powers where you can have Celerity provide such a boost, albeit briefly.) Potence likewise has high level powers where 'projecting' your potence becomes feasible.

                In terms of rationalizing this discrepancy: remember that its easy to punch through walls and body armor with potence-enhanced strength. I'd imagine that many potence-enhanced weapons might also be destroyed by those kinds of forces. We might surmise that a vampire can subconciously 'fortify' objects they hold or wear to resist such forces (remember that some sources described Potence as partial Telekinesis) when they strike. But if you threw the object it would lose that protection once its no longer in contact with you and would destroy itself in the process of being accelerated.

                Mind you that still is pretty messy (from a science POV there's no non-arbitrary reason that said 'fortifying' would shut off in a way to guarantee said destruction, but nobody said it couldn't be arbitrary-due-to-magic-because-it-sounds-plausible-enough.

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                • #9
                  Theoretically, you could make a bow and arrows impossibly heavy for anyone without X potence to use. In other words, a steel bow with a heavy steel cable for a "string". The draw strength would be wild, but there's something to be said for basically wielding what amounts to an industrial ballista--and it shouldn't be all that complicated to make either. Machine shops are not all that hard to come by, and it's not like you need the kind of precision for a bow that you'd need for a giant revolver or something. Now, if it's a compound bow... that's (imho) still do-able but a far bigger task from an engineering perspective.


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                  • #10
                    Besides wanting Fortitude and/or a very good bracer for your vampire's arm when that string smacks them, the biggest hurdle my rough estimations run into is big in a different way: keeping the arms and pulleys small enough that the lower one doesn't hit the ground. The engineering doesn't seem that hard with modern metallurgy in theory, but the increase in size to handle it would be.

                    Which then gets in a general practicality issue if it's that large.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                      Besides wanting Fortitude and/or a very good bracer for your vampire's arm when that string smacks them, the biggest hurdle my rough estimations run into is big in a different way: keeping the arms and pulleys small enough that the lower one doesn't hit the ground. The engineering doesn't seem that hard with modern metallurgy in theory, but the increase in size to handle it would be.

                      Which then gets in a general practicality issue if it's that large.
                      Make it compound recurve, hell just use big leaf springs, the only part that needs to be narrow is the riser, as long as the attachment method is strong enough, and the string strong enough (not hard) you end up with something that doesn't look too strange, until you realize the arms are steel. Once you draw weight is in tonnes. Have fun.

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                      • #12
                        If you make the arms thicker instead of longer, the stress on the mounting points to the riser get to be an issue pretty fast.

                        You can take a single bar from a leaf spring and turn it into a bow easily enough, but that's still well within human limits of use.

                        The problem with a full leaf spring is that the more energy it handles the more bars you need, and the arrangement of the bars with each getting progressively shorter is part of the strength of the spring: the "thickest" point needs to be in the middle. To avoid disrupting the spring by thinning out the worst part to be thinning, you'd have to use two leaf springs, with each acting as an arm attached to the riser. Making the riser strong enough to handle that would not be simple. The riser would get significantly longer to taper out to chunky enough width to attach the leafs to.

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                        • #13
                          weight isnt the issue so much (indeed to keep weapons within useful dimensions you're likely to be fairly limited in usable materials, since tungsten carbide is pretty damn expensive and hard to work with). The main challenge is weapons that can withstand the forces they're subjected to the kinds of forces that potence can create (so you don't crush the handle, shatter/snap the blade, etc.) Same applies with a bow (it has to be made of materials to withstand the forces its subjected to in order to store the kinds of energy a supernaturally-enhanced draw might allow. Likewise the arrow might not do as much damage if it shatters from the forces its subject to.) In fact I'm pretty sure VTM made this point (either in the modern or dark ages version) and specially reinforced tools, weapons, etc were needed, but for the life of me I can't remember the source.

                          On the other hand, lifting certain kinds of objects can be achieved without consideration of balance or tearing parts out of it (like tearing the fender off a car as you try to lift or flip it) - which is another partial reason for the 'force field' interpretation of Potence.

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                          • #14
                            Potence absolutely should do this. All thrown weapons should deal damage based on strength. It's a bizarre oversight, and one that would set vampiric combat apart from mortal tactics, adding flavor, in any time period if fixed.

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                            • #15
                              Because potence isn't just straight strength. Potence is something that appears to be strength. It's like a forcefield around a vampire that makes things resist less in the way that benefits the vampire. Hence all the action movie physics; vampires with potence through walls without the expected recoil and throw cars without them snapping, swords cut through steel...

                              F=MA-Fortitude+potence.

                              Thus it makes sense that thrown/Projectile weapons don't make use of potence; When you throw something they're disconnected from your field. you could maybe throw something heavy as if it weighed less but the bonus damage from that would be from the mass and acceleration of the item. If you threw a spear at at steel, potence would make the difference between the spear shattering and the spear going through, but in adding extra strength to the throw it'd be like... Making the spear weigh nothing at the moment you've still got a hold of it. It might be a little boost, but you're still mostly limited by your arm's locomotive strength.

                              Conclusion: It's not an oversight. It's deliberate.


                              Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

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